Jan. 30, 1980: The sand dredge Cinco de Diciembre, is hijacked from Varadero, Cuba. After a 32-hour voyage that ends in Miami Beach, 66 Cubans are granted asylum.
Feb. 16: Eight Cuban stowaways hijack Liberian freighter Lissette from outside Havana Harbor and sail to Key West.
Feb. 26: Using two rusty revolvers, 26 Cubans commandeer government-owned pleasure craft Lucero from Havana Harbor and sail it to the Florida Keys.
Mar. 8: Reacting to recent hijackings, Cuban President Fidel Castro hints at possibility of mass emigration in a speech.
Apr. 1: Six Cubans seeking asylum crash a bus through gates of Peruvian Embassy in Havana. A Cuban guard, struck by a ricocheting bullet, dies.
Apr. 4: Peru extends asylum to the gate-crashers. Cuban government removes embassy guard; Havana radio announces embassy is open.
Apr. 6: 10,856 Cubans crowd onto embassy grounds; Peru grants them asylum.
Apr. 9: Andean Pact ministers ask other nations to accept some refugees from embassy.
Apr. 11: President Jimmy Carter announces U.S. will accept up to 3,500 refugees, in accordance with provisions in the Refugee Act.
Apr. 13: Costa Rica offers San Jose as staging area for refugee resettlement.
Apr. 16: Evacuation flights to Costa Rica begin. Castro suspends flights two days later.
Apr. 19: Castro marshals thousands of Cubans for massive parade past Peruvian Embassy. In Miami, exile Napoleon Vilaboa readies a flotilla of 42 boats to bring back refugees.
Apr. 20: Castro announces he will open the port of Mariel for exiles to pick up relatives who want to leave the island.
Apr. 21: Fishing boats Dos Hermanos and Blanche III arrive in Key West with the first 48 refugees.
Apr. 22: U.S. State Department warns boat owners that bringing undocumented aliens into the United States is a felony.
Apr. 25: Up to 400 boats reach Mariel harbor to pick up refugees. In Miami, Juan Jose Toledo becomes the first Mariel refugee to die in related violence. The mentally disturbed refugee pulls a razor on an officer at an Opa-locka health clinic and is shot by police.
Apr. 26: State Department asks Cuban-American leaders to help stop boatlift.
May 1: More than 130 boats carrying some 2,000 refugees arrive in Key West; Coast Guard sets up a queue at harbor entrance when dock space runs out.
May 2: Orange Bowl prepared as emergency shelter.
May 3: Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola opens as processing center and resettlement camp.
May 4: Daily flow of refugees surpasses 3,000.
May 5: '' . . . We'll continue to provide an open heart and open arms to refugees seeking freedom from Communist domination.'' President Carter's words taken by many as wholesale invitation.
May 6: Carter authorizes $10 million in refugee emergency funds for Florida.
May 14: Carter orders boatlift crackdown, offers controlled ferrying if Cuba agrees to screen refugees to prevent dumping of criminals and mentally ill.
May 16: Coast Guard establishes barriers at sea to prevent boats from going to Cuba.
May 17: The overloaded Olo Yumi sinks north of Mariel in the Florida Straits, killing 14. At least 38, including skipper Salvador Ojeda, are rescued by the Coast Guard. Confirmed at-sea deaths in the exodus reach 25.
June 1: Detained refugees, angry at delays in processing, rampage through the Fort Chaffee Army Reserve base in Arkansas.State troopers and federal marshals turn back a crowd of 1,000 with tear gas and shots fired into the air. Forty injured.
June 3: Panamanian freighter Red Diamond arrives in Key West with 731 refugees; its captain is arrested. The count from Mariel now totals 100,000 refugees.
June 7: Carter orders expulsion of refugees who have committed serious crimes in Cuba, and prosecution for those responsible for Fort Chaffee riot.
June 14: Castro denies Cuba is sending misfits.
June 20: - Carter administration creates a special legal category of ''entrants'' for the Cuban and Haitian immigrants arriving this year. Mariel refugees are thus barred from provisions of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 allowing them to become legal residents after one year. Without legal status, they cannot travel abroad, claim homestead exemptions, or claim relatives left in Cuba. The legal limbo for Mariel refugees would last nearly five years.
June, 1980: Krome Avenue Detention Center opens at an abandoned missile site near the Everglades as a temporary processing center for refugees - some Cuban, but mostly Haitian. More than 25,000 Haitians will arrive in overloaded boats during the Mariel exodus. Under immigration law, they are ''economic'' refugees, subject to deportation.
July 2: U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King rules that INS systematically discriminates against Haitians in South Florida with deportation orders that ignore claims of political asylum from''the most oppressive regime in the Americas.''
July 25: Tent City set up under I-95 overpass near Miami River; more than 1,000 Cuban refugees move in.
Aug. 4: Almost 400 refugees at the Federal Correctional Institute in Talladega, Ala., including suspected rapists and murderers purged from Cuba's jails, stage a hunger strike.
Aug. 17: After a week in which six planes were hijacked to Cuba, two Mariel refugees are arrested at Miami International Airport concealing bottles filled with gasoline.
Aug. 18: Thirty-two refugees, frustrated with living conditions in Tent City, request return to Cuba. Without Cuban agreement, however, no transfer occurs.
Aug. 28: An inspection of Tent City yields 16 health and safety violations: exposed wires, broken plumbing, plugged storm drains, swarming flies.
Sept. 16: Carlos Angel Muñoz is convicted in federal court under the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act. Muñoz bought a boat and charged $625 for each person he brought back during the boatlift. He will be sentenced to 30 months in prison. In all, more than 1,100 cases would be filed against U.S. boat captains who brought aliens without visas to the United States.
Sept. 18: Snapshot Little Havana: Robbery up 775 percent in 12 months.Auto theft, up 284.2 percent. Burglary, up 190.8 percent. Assault, up 109.5 percent.
Sept. 25: Cuba ends 159-day boatlift, orders all boats in Mariel harbor to leave without refugees.
Sept. 29: Last boats arrive in Key West. In all, 125,266 Cubans arrived on over 2,000 vessels.
Sept. 30: Tent City closes after more than 4,000 refugees passed though.
Oct. 16: The U.S. says it will accept some 600 Cubans left stranded in Mariel when the boatlift ended.
Oct. 19: Ninety-two angry Cubans, most suffering mental or emotional disorders, seize a small building at St. Elizabeth's, a Washington, D.C., mental hospital. They surrender after six hours, with little damage and no injuries.
August 1981: Concerned about the negative portrayal of a ''Marielito,'' Miami Commissioner Demetrio Perez succeeds in barring most of the filming of Brian de Palma's Scarface in Miami. Al Pacino stars as a Mariel refugee turned drug kingpin; Havana-born Steven Bauer, son of a Bay of Pigs veteran, has a supporting role.
Nov. 20, 1981: Two Louisiana Episcopal priests are convicted for their part in bringing 402 refugees from Mariel on a converted minesweeper, the God's Mercy. A Miami Methodist minister is acquitted.
June 1, 1982: General aid to 32,000 Cuban and Haitian entrants, most in Dade County, is halted by Reagan administration. Refugees had received $119 a month.
July 18, 1982: Some 360 Cuban refugees spend a third Southern Hemisphere winter in a run-down tent city in Tupac Amaru park just outside Lima, Peru. The refugees arrived June 4, 1980.
October 19, 1983: Twenty-three men and women, accused of taking part in the hijackings of nine airplanes to Cuba between 1980 and 1983, are indicted on air piracy charges by a federal grand jury in Miami. Twenty-one are Cubans who came in the Mariel wave.
Dec. 14, 1984: U.S. and Cuba sign agreement to repatriate 2,746 Mariel refugees in exchange for allowing up to 23,000 new Cuban immigrants to enter the U.S. the first year, followed by 20,000 a year afterward.
Feb. 21, 1985: Deportations of undesirables begin under U.S.-Cuba agreement.
April 1, 1985: Almost five years after they arrived in the United States, INS starts the process of giving permanent resident status to Mariel refugees. At 100, Victoria Contreras becomes the first Mariel refugee to obtain U.S. residency.
May 20, 1985: After arrival of 200 deportees, Castro suspends deportation agreement in retaliation for start-up of Radio Marti, U.S. station broadcasting into Cuba.
June 23, 1993: Mariel refugee Elvis Rafael Fonseca Machado, who hijacked a National Airlines jet back to Havana in 1980, returns to South Florida from Cuba, via inner-tube raft.
Compiled by Miami Herald researcher Gay Nemeti